Winston Marshall says it’s a “disgrace” that his band – acclaimed British folk rockers Mumford & Sons – haven’t played Maine yet.

That’s partially why he and his band mates have picked Portland as one of just four U.S. sites for the band’s “Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers” tour this summer. The Aug. 4 outdoor show on Portland’s Eastern Promenade was announced by the band Tuesday and tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, only at Gentlemenoftheroad.com.

Hundreds of places across the country were considered by the band. But Marshall said Portland was one of the few picked because of its setting on the ocean, its vibrant arts and music scene, and the fact that the guys in Mumford & Sons had never been here before.

“We wanted places we had never been before, and places where we could sort of take over a town and get all sorts of local places involved,” said Marshall, 24. “It’s not just about seeing the few bands at the festival, it’s about learning about the town and hopefully everybody going into the bars and pubs afterwards.”

The Aug. 4 show will kick off the band’s tour and will actually be a daylong music festival with other bands, vendors and food. Most tickets will be $69, but a limited number of tickets priced at $59 will be available on a first-come, first-served basis Friday morning.

The other cities hosting the tour – all relatively small – are: Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee; Dixon, Ill.; and Monterey, Calif. The other touring acts who’ll be performing at the Portland festival include St. Vincent, Dawes, The Maccabees, Apache Relay, Simone Felice, and Haim.

The Portland City Council approved the show at the city-owned Eastern Promenade in April, when the idea was proposed by local promoter Lauren Wayne, general manager of the State Theatre. But Tuesday was the day that the show – and the other three U.S. shows – were formally announced by the band, along with ticket information.

Wayne said Tuesday that all tickets will be general admission. There will be no fixed seating and no chairs allowed in, so people will have to stand or sit on blankets on the hillside.

Gates to the site will open at noon and the event will likely end by 9 p.m., Wayne told the council in April. Music will start at 2 p.m.

Wayne told the city council she expects more than 12,000 people for the Aug. 4 festival. She said Tuesday the designated concert site on Eastern Promenade park – between the water and the Eastern Promenade roadway – will be secured by high fencing. So people will not be able to see the stage – which will be about halfway down the hill toward the water – from outside the fence.

Many of the logistics of the show are still being planned, Wayne said, including local merchant involvement, food and beverage vendors on site, and parking.

But Wayne did say that the Narrow Gauge Railroad has been rented for the day by promoters so people can park in the Old Port and take the train from Commercial and India streets to the base of the Eastern Promenade park.

Marshall said the bands picked for the Portland festival were chosen because they are bands Mumford & Sons like, but aren’t necessarily the same style or genre (folk rock) as Mumford & Sons. For instance, St. Vincent is an American singer-songwriter who falls into the indie pop or art rock categories, and The Maccabees are a fairly well-known British rock band.

Mumford & Sons was formed in 2007, made up of multi-instrumentalists who lean toward folk rock. The band’s debut album, “Sigh No More,” came out in 2010 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

The band was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2011 in the best new artist and best rock song (“Little Lion Man”) categories. This year, the band’s song “The Cave” was nominated for Grammy Awards in four categories.

“We’ve never played Maine before and that’s sort of a disgrace,” said Marshall. “So we figured for these stopovers, Maine would be a good place to start.”

 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]